Buying Signals: What They Are And Why They Are Important

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you work in a marketing position, you may search for ways to understand when a customer is ready to make a purchase. Buying signals let a marketing or advertising professional monitor consumers' behaviour so that they can sell a product or service. Understanding what buying signals are can make the buying process more efficient and help you understand who is likely to purchase a product or service. In this article, we explain what a buying signal is, why it is important and what some examples of it are.

What Is A Buying Signal?

A buying signal, which some marketers may refer to as a purchasing signal, is a way that a consumer acts that indicates they may want to purchase a product or service. Consumers may display purchasing signals early or late in the buying process. For instance, they may present a purchasing signal when they visit a company's website for the first time. They may also display purchasing signals further along in the buying process, such as when they are searching for a specific product after performing research and comparing their options.

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Why Are Purchasing Signals Important?

Purchasing signals are important because they let a marketer learn who their potential leads are. This can help them complete transactions more efficiently and optimise the time they spend with each lead. Analysing the purchasing signals that a lead shows can help you customise the buying process. This means that you can cater to a customer's particular behaviours and preferences.

Purchasing signals are prevalent in both sales and marketing. Sales teams can obtain verbal signals from potential leads, and they may also interpret data from previous successful deals. Marketers may use buying signals to determine the best time to post advertisements.

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Examples Of Purchasing Signals

Here are some examples of purchasing signals:

Behaviour signals

Behaviour signals are what actions a consumer exhibits. For example, they may initiate a phone call or ask you a question in person when they visit your organisation's office or building. They may also have an online presence that you can track, like the duration for which they remained on a certain webpage while browsing your company's website.

Intent data

Intent data can help you gauge many customers' interests in the product or service your organisation offers. You might also be able to determine how close a customer is to close a deal. Intent data may allow you to decide when to engage in further communication, like an email or phone call, to facilitate a sale.

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Opportunity data

Opportunity data can help you understand how potential customers may respond to a change within your organisation. Examples of these changes include a large-scale company event or the assumption of a leadership role by a new individual. You may use opportunity data to encourage customers to initiate a sale at a specific time.

Fit data

Fit data refers to the characteristics of potential customers. It may include where clients live and what devices they are using to view information about your products and services. It may also help you segment your market so that you can determine the needs of your potential leads and how your organisation may help satisfy those needs.

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Ways Customers Show Interest In A Product Or Service

Here are some revealing ways customers show interest in a product or service:

Ask about a brand's terms and conditions

This purchasing signal can reveal a lead's intent to purchase a product or service. It shows that they want to know the specifics of a brand's offering rather than just basic information that they can view in an advertisement. As your sales team presents information about the brand's terms and conditions, its members can work to build trust and ensure that the customer can be confident in their purchase.

View a specific offering repeatedly

You can use an analytics tool to determine how frequently consumers are visiting a specific webpage. This can help you assess interest in a certain product or service. You can use your findings to display targeted advertisements to frequent visitors. You may also provide a discount code to encourage the interested consumer to initiate the final step in the buying process.

Interact with the company's brand on social media

When a lead engages with your brand's content on social media, they may show their interest in becoming a paying customer. They may leave comments on a company's posts or post content of their own and tag the brand. This kind of engagement may signal interest in a specific product or service or attentiveness to the brand and its values as a whole. Consumers may also ask questions on social media to confirm their understanding of how a brand can help fulfil their needs.

Discuss the cost of a product or service

A lead who shows interest in a product or service may enquire about the cost. They may want to understand the best possible deal they can secure. You may retain their interest by offering discount codes or directing them to products that are currently on sale. If possible, you may even consider offering them a bonus item with the purchase they plan to make. You may use website analytics to discover a customer's preferred price range and recommend products that satisfy this price range.

Sign up for a free trial

A lead who wants to become a paying customer may sign up for a free trial. This can allow them to learn the specific features of a product and better understand if it is right for them. After the free trial period is over, you can send the potential customer a follow-up email. This email may ask for their thoughts or provide a discount code, both of which can retain their interest and encourage them to sign up for a subscription.

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Tips For Responding To Purchasing Signals

Here are some tips you can implement to respond to purchasing signals and optimise your revenue:

Identify brand-new prospects

Purchasing signals are usually for leads who already know about your company. You can choose to dedicate some of your marketing resources to identifying brand-new prospects. This can help you expand your client base, and you may better understand who to specifically target in future marketing campaigns.

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Dedicate resources to converting your most valuable leads

Some leads are more valuable than others. Instead of targeting all leads equally, you may consider dedicating more resources to converting your most valuable leads. You can identify your most valuable leads by finding the average revenue each customer provides and calculating the conversion rate from each independent lead source. The analysis of these data sets may help you determine which leads to pursue most actively.

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Re-engage former leads

Most companies have at least a few leads that were once interested in their products or services but did not convert to paying customers. You may revisit these former leads and observe what signals they are displaying. You can use your analysis to revitalise your relationship with a former lead and determine why they didn't convert.

For example, you may notice that a potential lead downloaded a free trial a couple of months ago but never purchased a subscription. You can have a sales agent contact the individual to determine why they did not make a purchase. The sales agent can present their findings to the company, and the company can then make adjustments to facilitate more successful future conversions.

Retain current customers

If your current customers are content with your brand and the way it conducts business, they may be more willing to purchase additional services or products. You can study their behaviour and preferences so that you can know what up-sell opportunities to offer them. You can also foster excitement about your offerings within your client base so that you know to market your products or services to other potential leads who have not yet become loyal customers.

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